AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A Dutch man charged with the attempted manslaughter of a Jewish father and son said he forgot why he stabbed them.
During the first hearing in the case, the victims asked the judge to consider a religious or racist motive, which currently is not included in the indictment.
Taha Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani did not deny the assaults in March on Martin Colmans and his son Sharon, vendors in Amsterdam’s Albert Cuyp Market.
The accused worked in a shop in the market and had had several disputes in the past with the Colmans and others, who complained to authorities about violence on his part.
At Thursday’s hearing, a lawyer for Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani presented psychiatric evaluations to the Amsterdam criminal tribunal declaring him mentally unfit to stand trial for his actions, according to a report by the AT5 television station.
Along with the manslaughter charges for the stabbing of Colmans and his son Sharon, Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani was charged with assault against Colmans’s wife.
“I don’t know what happened. It’s not a period of my life I want to remember,” Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani said at the hearing.
Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani had become more devout in his Muslim faith in the months leading up to the assault, during which he flew frequently to Egypt, the Colmans family said. He began praying outside his shop, reading the Quran and leering at them, the family said.
Esther Voet, editor in chief of the NIW Jewish weekly, who attended the hearing, wrote that the defendant wouldn’t answer when asked whether the attack was anti-Semitic, replying only that his “brother-in-law is a judge.”